By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.
Return to Showcase
Visit website


Culcheth Community Primary School

This content was written by
Culcheth Community Primary School
Culcheth Primary is a single form entry Community Primary School situated in Culcheth, a suburb of east Warrington. School plays an integral part of the local community. We involve the community in school life as much possible. There are 7 classes and a standard admission number of 30. All children are taught in single age classes. We have 217 pupils on roll (Sept 2022) this consists of 115 boys and 89 girls. As a school, we are proud to support all our children's personal developmental journey and believe that the Skills Builder 8 essential skills unlock learning in the classroom, boosting academic outcomes, perseverance and self-belief. Focusing on one skill for a few weeks has enabled the children to really understand the concepts of each skill. The programme has been embraced by staff, pupils and parents; it has been part of our school improvement plan. Working together to achieve each skill has hugely benefited the children and kept it in the forefront of everyone's thoughts. Teachers have been encouraged to sign post the 8 essential skills, in their planning, classrooms and assemblies.
Overall impact
The resources have been extremely useful to help the children understand the different essential skills. A whole school approach has ensured consistency throughout all the 7 classes. Teachers have all attended CPD to support their delivery of the different skills. Staff feel confident to deliver the resources. As a result, the SLT have monitored outstanding teaching. The children understand the different skills and are applying them independently to their learning. Linking assemblies to the classroom tasks has really helped to consolidate their learning. Giving the children the chance to understand how the skills are used in a variety of job occupations gave them real life experiences. Giving everyone in the school, the same opportunities to unlock learning in the classroom, boosts academic outcomes, perseverance and self-belief. Allowing the children to build on these essential skills will encourage them to thrive and halve the likelihood of being out of work, and increase earnings across a lifetime. They also help to boost wellbeing and life satisfaction. Communicating the skills with parents have given a push in and out of school. Parents are aware of how these skills benefit their children. Rewarding the children has encouraged others to achieve the set skills.
Keep it simple
The school council choose which skill is going to be the whole school focus. Each time we change our Skill Builder focus the display in the hall is changed. The display is referred to in all whole school assemblies. Every Monday, the Headteacher does a whole school assembly on Skills Builder using the resources. This is then followed up by the class teachers completing resources from the Skills Builder Hub. The videos and powerpoints have enabled the children to have a firm understanding on all the skills covered so far. All classrooms display the skills poster that have been covered so that the children can refer back to them. There is a special place for the current skill that is being focused on. If children are displaying a skill in lessons or extra-curricular activities they are rewarded by receiving Dojo points (this is a reward system accessed through an app, so that parents can see their children's achievements). In the continuous provision in EYFS Skills Builder posters are displayed.
Start early, keep going
The children work as a class covering the set resources of that specific skill on a weekly basis. The teachers continually assess their class. Through careful planning of the curriculum, the Skills Builder skills are implemented into lessons. The children are familiar with the different icons and know which skill a particular lesson is focusing on, as it appears on the interactive whiteboard. Each week staff put forward 2 names who have displayed achievement demonstrating the current Skills Builder skill. The children then receive a certificate in our weekly commended assembly. The children's names are also displayed in the weekly newsletter. Every time we change our Skills Builder focus it is communicated to parents via the Class Dojo class story and through our Facebook feed.
Measure it
At the start of each new skill, the Headteacher introduces it through a whole school assembly. The class teacher then completes the introductory lesson. Teachers then assess where their class is. After the set time on the skill the teacher then reassesses their class, to see which stage they are now on. The SLT (Senior Leadership Team) go on frequent learning walks around the classrooms, on the visits it is clear to see the Skills Builder posters and icons being used throughout the lessons on set powerpoints. The children refer to the Skills Builder essential skills without hesitation, this is because they have become so familiar with the programme. We receive Hub Usage reports and this is shared with the staff. It clearly displays which class may need extra support implementing different aspects.
Focus tightly
All teachers use the Skills Builder Hub to engage their children in the particular focus. Having an assembly a week and a set session timetabled keeps the children aware and fully focused on the skill. Assessing where their class is enables the teacher to pitch the lessons at the right level. Learning the skill directly each week has made a big impact on the children's learning. Putting Skills Builder on the (SIP) School Improvement Plan ensured that everyone knew it was a key priority across school. As lead in the programme we revisit Skill Builder in our staff meetings termly. Our next skill is 'Creativity' this was chosen for this particular time as it is our school's annual Arts week. We have been able to incorporate many opportunities to apply essential skills to collaborate with set curriculum skills. 'Aiming High' worked extremely well on the lead up to the SATs. The children were keen to be acknowledged.
Keep practising
Skills are built into medium and short term planning to support children to help them to embed skills. Revisiting the essential skills continuously helps the children to have a real understanding. The classroom displays and hall displays are interchangeable for the specific skill that is being focused on. In our EYFS the teacher changes the skills posters frequently to link into their continuous provision. During our sports assembly different skills are displayed to depict which skill has been used specifically for that sporting event. When classes are going on a residential trip, museum trips etc the teacher always addresses the essential skills that are needed for success trip to happen.
Bring it to life
The free Virtual Employer question and answer sessions in Year 6 and Year 5 have been truly inspirational and have cemented the essential skills in real life job occupations. The children could see how the skills could be incorporated in numerous jobs. The children had the opportunities to talk to lawyers, bankers, stock brokers, an ejector seat company etc. This brought the skills to life and the children could make positive links. We ensure that the children have the opportunity to learn outside the classroom whenever possible. It is vital for children to experience the different essential skills in real life situations, our links with the wider community encourage the children to use all the skills. These links are an integral part of personal development for life and not merely academic achievement.
What's next
We will incoporate the essential skills into the school values work. The posters, icons, stages will be used to improve our children's understanding of the essential skills throughout our curriculum.
North West England
United Kingdom